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About enhanced cost per click (ECPC)

Enhanced cost per click (ECPC) is a bidding feature that raises your bid for clicks that seem more likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. This helps you to get more value from your ad budget.

Imagine that your job is to stand outside a barber's shop and bring in new customers. If a businessman with shaggy hair comes walking by, then you give him a big wave and a hello. If a bald man walks by, then not so much.

ECPC does a similar job for your AdWords ads. It's a bidding feature that looks for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to sales for you, and then raises your Max CPC bid up to 30% (after applying any bid adjustments that you've set) to compete harder for those clicks. ECPC factors in real-time details such as device, browser, location and time of day to adjust your bids during each ad auction.

ECPC double-checks itself by leaving part of your traffic alone to work with your regular Max. CPC bids. Then it compares the two sets of results and adjusts accordingly. So when you choose ECPC, you should see conversion results that are better than or at least the same as the results that you get without it.

ECPC for text ads is available on the Search Network and the Display Network, except in campaigns that promote mobile app downloads. For Shopping ads, ECPC works only on Google Search.

Tip: Save time managing your bids with a flexible ECPC bid strategy

You’ll be able to apply ECPC bid optimisation more strategically to entire campaigns or specific ad groups of your choice. Find out about flexible bid strategies

How does ECPC know which auctions are promising?

The AdWords system looks for patterns of clicks and conversions and compares them to your past results. If certain search or keyword combinations lead to more sales, for instance, then it will know. That's why you need conversion tracking turned on to use ECPC – it’s where the data comes from.

ECPC will increase your max. CPC bid by up to 30% (after applying any bid adjustments that you've set) when it sees a good opportunity. It'll also lower your max. CPC by any amount (even more than 30 per cent) if it determines that a conversion isn't likely, so you'll pay less for clicks that convert less.

Make sure that you review your conversion counting method for each conversion action to ensure it matches your goals. If you're tracking leads (such as sign-ups), you probably only want to count one conversion per ad click. If you're tracking sales, you probably want to count every conversion.


Because ECPC will increase your max. CPC bid by up to 30% when it sees a good opportunity, don't be surprised if your AdWords report shows average CPCs that are over your max. CPC.

How is ECPC different from Target CPA?
Both ECPC and Target CPA work to get you more conversions. The key difference is that ECPC will raise your max. CPC bid by up to 30% (after applying any bid adjustments that you've set). Target CPA needs no max. CPC, though it does require you to set a target CPA

Target CPA gives you the very best chance to improve your results, but ECPC provides a level of control and comfort that some people prefer.

Both ECPC and Target CPA

  • Use conversion tracking or Google Analytics data from your account
  • Predict a conversion rate for each auction
  • Adjust your bids to help you win the most promising clicks


  • Works with all your campaign settings and Max. CPC bids
  • Can raise bids by up to 30%
  • Works with third-party bidding systems

Target CPA

  • Is based on a target CPA that you set
  • Has full freedom to set your CPC bid for each auction
  • May not work with some API-based bid management solutions


Suppose that you sell shoes on your website, you've set your Max. CPC for £1, and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If the AdWords system sees an auction that looks likely to lead someone to buy shoes on your site, it might set your bid as high as £1.30 for that auction (that is, your £1 max. CPC bid plus 30 per cent more).

How to turn on ECPC

Note: Your campaign must have conversion tracking turned on for ECPC to work. If it’s not turned on, opting into ECPC will have no impact on your bids.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. From your Campaigns tab, click on the name of the campaign that you want to work with.
  3. Click on the Settings tab.
  4. Find the "Bid strategy" section. Click on Edit.
  5. Click on Advanced options, then click on Enable Enhanced CPC.

When you choose ECPC, we'll automatically set your ad rotation setting to "optimise for conversions" even if it's currently set to "optimise for clicks".

Using mobile bid adjustments with ECPC

ECPC doesn’t take differences between mobile and other devices into account when raising or lowering your bids. You can, however, set a mobile bid adjustment to adjust your mobile bids up or down relative to your other devices, and ECPC will incorporate this along with its own bid adjustments.

We recommend setting a mobile bid adjustment that takes into account the differences in conversion rates between mobile and other devices, especially to incorporate any additional conversions that aren’t tracked using the AdWords Conversion Tracking tag (such as in-shop visits). Find out more about setting mobile bid adjustments.

Note that ECPC, like Conversion Optimiser, will continue to set different bids for desktop traffic vs. tablet traffic based on differences in conversion rates.

Tip: Choose what conversions to bid for

The following conversion tracking settings let you customise how you bid for conversions:

  • The Include in "Conversions" setting lets you decide whether or not to include individual conversion actions in your "Conversions" reporting column. The data in this column is used by bid strategies like target CPA, target ROAS and ECPC, so your bid strategy will only optimise based on the conversions that you've chosen to include. Find out more
  • The Include cross-device conversions setting lets you include cross-device conversions in your “Conversions” column and in your conversion-based bid strategies. Find out more


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